This classic recipe for Mary Berry’s baked Alaska is the perfect dessert recipe. Rich vanilla infused ice cream with a gooey meringue topping and jam covered base is sure to make this sweet treat a family favourite
- For the vanilla ice cream:
- 300ml pouring double cream
- 300ml milk
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, (soft and fresh)
- 3 egg yolks
- For the meringue:
- 3 egg whites
- 175g caster sugar
- 20cm disc fatless sponge
- Cherry jam
- Flan case, trimmed edges
For the vanilla ice cream:
- Pour the cream and milk into a heavy based saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, add the seeds and pod to the pan.
- Heat the cream and milk till just below boiling point. Draw the pan off the heat, set aside for an hour it time allows – this allows the vanilla to infuse the liquid. Remove the vanilla pod and discard.
- Put the egg yolks into a bowl with the sugar and whisk with an electric mixer until thick and creamy.
- Gradually add about ¼ of the cream and milk mixture to the beaten yolks to slacker it down. Reheat the rest of the cream and milk until it boils, take off the heat and add to the yolk mixture and whisk once more.
- Wash the pan, pour in the egg cream mixture and return to the heat, stir continuously until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon – it must not boil. Remove from the heat, the moment you see any bubble about to burst to the surface.
- Pour into a bowl to cool, then cover and fridge until cold.
- Pour into an ice cream mixer and churn according to the machine instructions. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until needed.
For the meringue:
- Whisk the egg whites, in a clean, large bowl in an electric mixer on full speed until very stiff. Gradually add the sugar, a little at a time, and still on high speed, whisking well between each addition. Whisk until very, very stiff and glossy and all the sugar has been added.
- To make the Alaska – spread the disc of sponge generously with cherry jam. Pile scoopfuls of the ice cream on top, well within the edge of the sponge. Cover the ice cream completely with meringue so no gaps are showing, finishing in swirls.
- Return to the freezer, it will keep happily frozen for 24 hours.
- When needed, preheat the oven to 200°C/180°F/Gas Mark 6 and bake for about 8 minutes until a honey brown colour, serve at once.
For special occasions sprinkle the sponge with a cherry or orange liqueur before spreading with jam